Female condom vs male condom - which is more effective?
Research shows that with typical use the female condom is around 79% effective, and the male condom around 87% effective. With perfect use the male condom is 98% effective, slightly more than the female condom at 95%. Read our blog about contraceptive effectiveness for more info.
What is the female condom made of?
The female condom is made of a thin, strong plastic called polyurethane, or a substance called nitrile.
Is wearing a female condom comfortable?
It shouldn't be uncomfortable. It’s loose fitting and is meant to move whilst you have sex. You can read reviews from members of our community to learn about their experiences with the female condom above.
Can I wear a female condom on my period?
Yep! Menstrual blood will have no impact on the effectiveness of the female condom.
What's the difference between a female condom and a diaphragm?
Female condoms cover the length of the vagina and penis, whereas diaphragms are small, cup-shaped discs that cover the the cervix only. Learn more in our blog about caps and diaphragms .
How the Female condom works:
Female condoms prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm getting to the womb and fertilising an egg. They also offer protection against STIs.
There are a few things that can stop a female condom from working. The most common thing is that the penis enters the vagina outside the condom by mistake, touches the vaginal area before the condom is inserted or the condom slips out / gets pushed into the vagina during sex. It may also not be effective if its used with oil based products, medication for things like thrush, stored in intense heat or cold, or past its use by date. If these things happen you may need to use emergency contraception .
How to use the Female condom:
To put on a female condom, squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and put it inside your vagina. Use your fingers to push the inner ring as far back into your vagina as you can, and then, with your fingers inside the condom, open the large ring at the open end of the condom. It should be outside of the opening of the vagina. When having sex, make sure the penis goes inside the condom not outside. Guide it in whilst holding the outer ring in place. It’s loose fitting and is meant to move whilst you have sex. After sex, remove the female condom immediately by gently pulling it out – twisting the large ring stops semen from leaking as you do this. Don’t throw female condoms away in the toilet. Think of Blue Planet and put it in the bin!
How safe is the Female condom:
There are very few risks when using a female condom. Some people may be allergic to polyurethane or synthetic latex in which case the female condom might not be suitable.